Hi there! It’s konkaz (@konkazuk) here.
If you have already worked on “how to describe your current situation/feeling” with “Eigo-jiru vol.11”, this article will be the next one to deal with…
This time, we are going to work on “how to express our desire/demands” in English.
This could be an absolute basic, however, covering this area is fundamental for surviving!
In order to be able to get your demand across to the other person when it’s necessary, let’s prepare for it with the habit of “Soliloquy” in English!
- Letting what you “want” out of your mouth!
- “I want to 〜”, “I want to be 〜“
- “I want + person + to + verb”, etc.
Letting what you “want” out of your mouth!
I want + noun
This may look utterly basic, but you can’t make light of it.
Whatever comes up in your mind, if you don’t speak out, you can’t get it across to the other person.
Moreover, it is said that your desire generally comes true by saying it aloud most of the time. (This is true!)
I’ve heard the story that… in some northern parts of England, new-born babies often yell at their mother, and it sounds like “I want some milk!”. (This is not true.)
Anyway, here are some examples!!!
“I want a glass of water.”
This phrase is related to the previous topic “Describing your current situation”, isn’t it?
“I am thirsty.”
“I want a glass of water!”
With some other type of drinks…
“I want a cup of tea/coffee.”
“I want a tin of Coke/Fanta.”
“I want an ice-cold beer!”
I want something ~
If you don’t know exactly what you want, then you can put “something” after “I want” for the time being…
“I want something.”
And then, in order to explain what this “something” is, you can simply add “to + verb” to it…
so, if what you want is a drink, it will be…
“I want something to drink.”
Now, you might want to tell what kind of drink you want, too…
This time, you can do it by adding “adjective after “something” just like…
“I want something hot to drink.”
“I want something fizzy to drink.”
If you fancy having some food, then…
“I want something spicy to eat.”
“I want something light to eat.”
If you are bored, then…
“I want something funny to watch.”
Using demonstrative pronoun
Right. We’re moving on…
Although, you may not have much of opportunities to use this with the practice of soliloquy, there is this (lazy?) way to express what you want by using demonstrative pronouns with your finger pointing at it at the same time, just like…
“I want this!”
(…possibly when you order something from the menu in a restaurant?)
“I want that!”
(…possibly pointing at something you can’t really reach in the shop?)
If you want the same thing as what the other person has…
Here is another useful form you can use when you are interested in someone else’s property…
the same + (object) + as + (the object owned by someone else)
“I want the same dress as what she is wearing.”
(dress = what she is wearing)
“I want the same shoes as what he has got.”
(shoes = what he has got)
When you have found out what the person at the next table is having looks really tasty and you feel like having the same one, you might say…
“I want the same dish as what she is having.”
(dish = what she is having)
Or you can simply use the word “thing”, like…
“I want the same thing as what he/she has.”
I want + “to have”
Right. We’ve been working on with the form of “I want + noun” up to this point.
Nothing is wrong with this, however, the expression might sound slightly “direct” if you are always saying like…”I want this!” “I want that!”…
Therefore, to make it sound “less barbaric” without changing its meanings, you can simply add “to have” to “want”, and it will sound much nicer!
Let’s see the difference.
“I want a glass of water.”
“I want to have a glass of water.”
It may look like the one differentiates from the other with a subtle nuance, however the first one sounds more desperate than the second one.
Basically, it depends on how desperate you want the thing… so, as long as you’re in a normal/neutral situation, it’s better to say it with “to have”.
“I want to have a cup of coffee.”
“I want to have something to drink.”
“I want to have the same hat as what he is wearing.”
And by using this “have” in a sentence, the transition into a question can be made smoothly…
“I want to have a glass of water.”
↓ (natural flow)
“Can I have a glass of water?”
Therefore, let’s include this “have” in a sentence when you want something to have!
“I want to 〜”, “I want to be 〜“
First, let’s have a look at “I want to 〜”
I want to + verb
The one we’ve just worked on towards the end of the previous section, which is “I want to have 〜” is also a part of the form of “I want to + verb”
Anyway, let’s have a look at some examples…
“I want to eat some biscuits.”
“I want to go to bed.”
“I want to go to the toilet.”
“I want to fly!”
“I want to see my friends.”
Think about what you want to do and create as many sentences of your own as possible simply by adding some verb to “I want to”…
Hey! Have you been reading the examples aloud?
There is no point of just reading them in your mind, if your purpose is to be able to speak…
Without voicing, the “pipes“between your brain and your mouth will not be established!
“I want to listen to the music.”
“I want to go to the shop to buy some milk.”
“I want to know his secret.”
Well… as I’ve kept telling, create your own sentences in your head and let them go out of your mouth.
＊ one point ＊
Regarding the pronunciation of “w” with the word “want”, it is often spelt as 「ウォント」in Katakana, isn’t it? When you pronounce the word starting from the letter “w”, such as “wood”, “what” and so on, I would advise you to pucker up your mouth relatively firmer than when you pronounce ”ウ” (=Japanese alphabet in Katakana ; equivalent of “u” with English alphabet.)
The first phonetic symbol of the words starting from the letter “w” is actually [w],hence, strictly speaking, it should be spelt as “ヲント” [wont] rather than “ウォント” [uont] in Katakana.
It’s also worth checking the shape of native speaker’s mouth when the words are pronounced in the film or in any other sources.
Overcoming the pronunciation of “w” might help you some time in the future to see how to pronounce the words starting from the letter “R”, which could also contribute to sort out Japanese people’s well-known issue; a mix-up between “L” & “R”. So, let us remember to pucker up the mouth when we pronounce the words starting from “w”.
I don’t want to 〜
Let’s have a look at the sentences with negative form, too…
You can simply put “don’t” (do + not) between “I” and “want” to create them.
“I don’t want to wake up early tomorrow.”
“I don’t want to pick up the phone.”
“I don’t want to stay here.”
“I don’t want to go to work.”
“I don’t want to lose.”
This time let’s think of “something you hate to do”, and make your own sentences. And… say them aloud!
“I want to be + noun/adjective”
We are going to work on describing our desire to set ourselves in some sort of situation.
Let’s have a look at some examples…
“I want to be happy.”
“I want to be a millionaire.”
“I want to be a doctor.”
“I want to be a volleyball player.”
“I wanna be your boyfriend 〜 ♪”
One of the popular tunes from 1970’s N.Y. punk rock band called “Ramones”, isn’t it?
But here you can see that it has been spelt as “wanna” instead of “want to”.
This is a shortened form of “want to” which is a colloquial expression.
You might think like… hey, it’s cool. I’m going to use it!… but if your English level is of beginner’s, I would personally suggest you work on the form of “want to” for the time being until it really sticks to your head, and then move on to “wanna”.
By the way, the band called “The stooges” which has been led by the iconic frontman “Iggy Pop” recorded the song called
“I wanna be your dog.”
in 1969. w
And also, the British rock band called “The Stone Roses” recorded a song called
“I wanna be adored”
which appears on the 1st track of their debut album.
“adore” is a verb, but it is used as a passive form (be + past participle form of the verb) here. Passive form creates a sort of “situation” therefore it can be treated just like “adjective” (ex. beautiful, red, happy, and so forth.)
“I want to be loved.”
“I want to be satisfied.”
“I want to be chosen as a member of the group.”
“I don’t want to be left alone.”
“I don’t want to be sent to prison.”
Are you reading them aloud???
And… finally, I would like to note here that you can also use an ordinary verb “become” in stead of “be-verb”, since both have the same functionality.
“I want to become a football player.”
“I don’t want to become poor.”
“I want to become a good mum.”
“I want + person + to + verb”, etc.
Up to this point, we’ve been working on the form of “I want to + verb”, however, sometimes your desire/demand might involve the situations where somebody else does something for you…
Personal pronouns such as…
you, him, her, them, or the name of the person, and a particular person(s)(the person, those people, etc.)
can be applied to the part of (the person) above.
“I want you to come with me.”
“I want him to cook today’s dinner.”
“I want her to stay longer.”
“I want them to go home.”
“I want Jim to visit me.”
Let’s try some negative ones, too…
“I don’t want you to hate me.”
“I don’t want him to forget what happened today.”
“I don’t want them to come to my party.”
“I don’t want Lucy to regard me as a dishonest person.”
Again, try to create your own version with this form and say them aloud!
By the way, you can actually apply “objects” or “pronouns” as well instead of “personal pronouns”.
“I want my artwork to be seen by lots of people.”
“I want it to be kept untouched.”
With negative forms…
“I don’t want the show to fail.”
“I don’t want those apples to fall from the tree.”
“I don’t want it to happen again.”
There are another similar situations where other people are involved in doing you a favour by fixing your property or some parts of your body.
However, it is not directly related to your desire/demand and the form of it is slightly different from what we are doing right now, therefore I will deal with it with my other blog post in the future…
I would like to 〜
When you go to the restaurant, you will be asked like…
“What would you like to drink, madam?”
“Would you like to have some desert?”
so, you can answer like…
“I would like to have an Asahi beer, please!”
“I would like to have a scoop of vanilla ice cream, please!”
Get used to this expression by creating your own examples and saying them aloud, because you will be definitely using this at some point in the future.
Well, this is it for expressing your desire/demands.
Thanks for having read through the article, and let’s keep it up with soliloquy to become earth-men!!!
👉 * Japanese version of this blog post